How to Watch the Women's World Cup: Fox Sports and Telemundo Up Their Game in 2019
The FIFA Women's World Cup kicks off today in France, and network executives are hoping to draw in the largest viewership of the tournament in history. Four years ago, the USA Women's team defeated Japan in the final to win the tournament as 26 million fans tuned in. In fact, it became the most-watched soccer match in U.S. history, according to Nielsen. As Fox Sports and NBCUniversal’s Telemundo continue their exclusive coverage of the tournament this year—in their respective English and Spanish broadcasts—both networks have high expectations for even greater success this time around.
Fox Sports set the bar high for the tournament even prior to USA's 2015 victory. The network made it a priority to elevate the tournament's broadcast, and to ensure that the Women's World Cup got as much attention and resources as the men's tournament did. "We're going in absolutely focused on bettering what we did four years ago. We're not complacent. We're not going to settle for what we did four years ago; we want to do better," said David Neal, vice president of production at Fox Sports. More than two-thirds of the network's broadcast and studio team for the tournament are women this year, including lead game analyst and former player for the USA Women's team, Aly Wagner.
The network is also offering 4K broadcasts of the matches for the first time on the Fox Sports and Fox Now apps through an Apple TV or Roku device. The streaming apps will include 5.1 audio, which, paired with 4K, is supposed to simulate the stadium's environment as closely as possible without actually being there.
On Telemundo, coverage will feature more Women's World Cup matches than ever before on Spanish-language television. The network is airing 21 live games out of the 52—twice the amount of the 2015 tournament. Telemundo's companion cable channel, Universo, will telecast 24 of the matches, while the Telemundo Deportes and NBC Sports apps will livestream every match of the competition.
The network's digital and social media platforms will include exclusive short- and long-form content that spotlight the players, all match highlights, and the host city's culture and ambiance surrounding the tournament. The network's partnerships with bilingual social media influencers across the country will further help to create excitement throughout the month-long competition, and a late-night live show on Twitter, produced by the NBCUniversal Digital Lab, will air twice a week and focus on the key moments and stories of the tournament.
In partnership with NBC Sports' On Her Turf, Telemundo also launched a 10-episode series called Off the Pitch which started in early May and features the behind-the-scenes lives of the players on the USA Women’s team to give viewers a more up, close and personal look at the team.
Telemundo will also open the tournament with a video essay that highlights more than 550 women participating in this year's tournament, as well as interviews with prominent women in a variety of fields, including U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Colombian aerospace engineer Diana Trujillo:
With these networks bringing their A game, and with the USA Women's team being a top contender this year, it's sure to be a thrilling month of soccer and storytelling.